At 48-34, the Phoenix Suns missed the playoffs last season by one game. But don’t be surprised if rookie T.J. Warren helps them make the cut in 2014-15.
The Suns explosive 6’8” small forward lit up the Philadelphia 76ers for a game-high 28 points in NBA Summer League action in Las Vegas yesterday.
“My teammates do a great job in finding me on the open floor,” Warren told NBA TV afterwards. “I just want to capitalize on that and just play hard on every possession.”
The 14th overall draft pick out of North Carolina State certainly succeeded on both accounts, shooting a sizzling 12-of-22 from the field and pulling down 11 rebounds to lead Phoenix to a 97-88 win over Philly.
Warren did most of his damage in transition, slashing and finishing at the cup, while also hungrily banging on the boards in a performance that likely left Suns fans’ mouths watering, thinking about what he could do running alongside Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic.
Considering the Suns ran their way to scoring 105.2 points per game last season—sixth in the league—Warren is likely to fit into Phoenix’s system just fine.
But will his contribution help the Suns slip into the playoffs within an ultra-competitive Western Conference? Well, that remains to be seen.
NBA Summer League action on Tuesday also had Chicago Bulls rookie forward Doug McDermott continuing to impress, adding 20 points to the 31 he dropped Sunday—both victories. McDermott has shot a scorching 11-of-19 from beyond the arc his last two games.